Herta’s multi-generational Reynard reunion shaping up for IndyCar finale week at Laguna

The best part of next weekend’s NTT IndyCar Series season finale in Monterey will take place on Wednesday afternoon when the father and son duo of Bryan and Colton Herta share an amazing experience at the 2.2-mile road course.

The two will share the 1998 Reynard-Cosworth CART IndyCar Series car Bryan drove to his first victory at the same track on the 25th anniversary of the achievement, which will be a first for the young Andretti Autosport star.

After Colton purchased and presented the car to Bryan on his birthday in May, the elder Herta got to work, sending the motor to Cosworth for a rebuild, and in the months that followed, the rest of the period-correct car—taken into private ownership after it crossed under the checkered flag back in 1998—was freshened and readied for a special event Bryan began arranging for himself and Colton.


Kept secret until last week, Bryan informed his son that with the help of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Firestone, and many of the original crew that ran the Team Rahal car back in 1998 who will be in attendance, they’ll have fresh tires, something north of 15,000rpms, and nearly 900hp to play with next Wednesday.

“I’m more excited to do this than anything that I’ve driven in the past, just because I never got to experience these cars when I was a kid,” Colton told RACER. “Everybody says how cool these cars are and how amazing they are, and I’ve never heard one at all start up, never seen it drive on track. I’ve never been to historic races where these cars run. Or if you do, nobody’s pushing.

“So you never get to see guys pushing those cars. This is gonna be cool. I can’t wait. I don’t even know what they sound like. I’ve watched old races, but the audio in the ‘90s wasn’t amazing for TV, so it’s gonna be cool to feel the power and how the cars have changed. And we’re gonna have some new fresh Firestones, as well, which is what dad’s car ran on originally.”

The plan is for Bryan to go out first and then hand the Reynard over to Colton. “I’m going to go for as long as I can last, which is probably less than 10 laps, and then we’ll put Colton in the car and really see what it can do,” Herta said.

With the newly-paved 11-turn road course offering exceptional grip for the latest tire technology from Firestone, and a lot more horsepower than the 23-year-old has experienced while winning seven races in his No. 26 Honda, Colton’s runs in the old No. 8 car could produce some impressive lap times. We can also expect Colton to give his father the business when it’s time to compare their best laps around Laguna Seca in the same car…

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the Honda engine, but still gonna be cool to drive,” he added. “It’ll be cool to experience because of how tough the cars were to drive. From what I’ve seen in the videos, those old hacks couldn’t do anything in the corners. They made all their speed on the straights with all that horsepower.

“Nowadays, we have to find the lap time and performance in the corners. We can’t just put the accelerator down and find a lot of time there. It’s gonna be super special. For me, it’s one of the most exciting things that I will have done.”

Colton’s No. 26 Honda will feature a tribute livery next weekend that mirrors the 1998 Reynard, and at the end of the special Wednesday session, both cars will take to the track for a slow side-by-side lap where photos and videos will be taken to commemorate the moment.

With that 25th anniversary in mind, Colton wants nothing more than to win his third IndyCar race in Monterey to honor his father and his sponsor Gainbridge for creating the custom retro design he’ll carry.

“I just hope that I can do that livery proud,” he said. “It would be great to win for everyone. I can’t wait to get down there Wednesday.”

Story originally appeared on Racer